One Book, One Community and LASM Discovery Dome

The Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s (LASM) Discovery Dome is coming to Libraries again for a special FREE presentation celebrating this year’s One Book, One Community selection: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Children of all ages will enjoy Magic Tree House: Space Mission when they travel with Jack and Annie, stars of the Magic Tree House® best-selling children’s book series, as they search for answers to a mysterious riddle they’ve discovered. Viewers will get a peek into the treehouse and follow Jack and Annie on an exciting adventure as they meet a helpful astronomer and an astronaut!

Adults and teens are invited to the Library to watch We Are Stars, the film that explains what we are made of, how the sun was created and how a star is made.

The full Discovery Dome schedule is below:

  • 10 a.m. Monday, March 5, River Center Branch
  • 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 5, Main Library at Goodwood (Adults & teens, We Are Stars)
  • 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, Eden Park Branch
  • 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, Bluebonnet Regional Branch
  • 3 p.m. Thursday, March 8, Central Branch
  • 5 p.m. Monday, March 12, Jones Creek Regional Branch
  • 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch
  • 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, Delmont Gardens Branch
  • 3 p.m. Thursday, March 15, Scotlandville Branch
  • 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 19, Carver Branch
  • 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, Baker Branch
  • 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, Pride-Chaneyville Branch
  • 3 p.m. Thursday, March 22, Main Library at Goodwood
  • 3 p.m. Monday, March 26, Fairwood Branch
  • 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, Zachary Branch

To register, or for more information about these free Discovery Dome events, call the Children’s Room at the Library location directly. Call the Circulation Desk at the Main Library at (225) 231-3740 in reference to the presentation for adults and teens. To learn more about the Library and any of its other free programs, events and resources, visit us online!

Poetry Out Loud

Support Louisiana teens and foster a love for poetry by attending the 2018 Louisiana state finals of Poetry Out Loud!

High school students representing every region in the state will compete in the 2018 Poetry Out Loud State Competition on March 3, 2018.

Poetry Out Loud is a national, high school poetry recitation competition developed by the Poetry Foundation. Through generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the program is free to all students and encourages them to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.

The mission of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge is to foster the creative capacity and vibrancy of the capital region through advocacy, resources, and education. The Arts Council administers the Poetry Out Loud program on behalf of the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and promotes the Poetry Out Loud competition to high school students in its 11-parish region and re-grants funds to regions across the state in order to facilitate the program in their areas.

Participation helps students master public speaking skills, build self- confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Participation also increases student engagement in literature classes, provides non-academic scholarship opportunities for students, and creates statewide cultural connections for schools.

The competition will be held at the Capitol Park Museum at 12:00 PM and is free and open to the public. Justine Haka, program assistant for the Poetry Foundation, will be the keynote speaker.

Gale Small Business Builder

Are you a small business owner? Do you want to be? The Gale Small Business Builder can help you follow your dreams no matter where you are in your REM cycle with tools for beginners, experienced business owners, and even tools for those who want to set up a nonprofit.

First, you’ll set up your entrepreneur profile.  This lets you define your goals, your motivations, the skills you bring to the table, and the support your business already has. The Gale Small Business Builder even provides an easy way to keep track of business expenses, financial projections, and plans to start and grow your marketing campaign.

Gale Small Business Builder provides forms you can fill out with the information you’ll need to start, maintain, and grow a successful business. Here’s what the entrepreneur profile looks like; you can use it to keep track of the resources, skills, support, and network contacts that can contribute to your success.

For further assistance, contact us at (225) 231-3750 – or check out this blog post by our Career Center.

If you have an idea, but you don’t know where to start to make it grow, you can always start at the library with Gale Small Business Builder.

Comics Plus Library Edition

Did you know you can catch up on some of your favorite comics titles for free, without leaving your house? Comics Plus Library Edition brings you single issues from publishers like Archie, Peanuts, Dark Horse, IDW, and more!

That means awesome titles like Hellboy, Sarah’s Scribbles, Star Trek, and Adventure Time can be yours for only the click of a button and the presence of a library card number. Comics Plus Library Edition works with your RBDigital account, so if you’ve ever trained with Hoonuit, flipped through RBdigital Magazines (formerly Zinio), played video games with OnePlay, jammed on Qello Concerts, screened a film with IndieFlix, or read or listened to anything on One Click Digital, you’re all ready to go – all of RBdigital’s services can be accessed with the same account.

If you don’t have an RBdigital account, getting set up is quick and easy – check out this illustrated guide!

If Black Panther has got you itching to dive in to the wide and wonderful world of graphic storytelling, Comics Plus Library Edition is a great place to start!

Online Learning with Lynda

You’ve settled your kids, relatives, friends, and significant others into the semester – now it’s time to learn something for yourself. Lynda’s self-paced, online courses can help you learn a fun new creative skill or make you more competitive on the job market. Take a look at the top ten courses here in Baton Rouge, and see what you could learn!

  1. Programming Foundations: Fundamentals
  2. Time Management Tips Weekly
  3. Angular 2 Essential Training
  4. Tableau 10 Essential Training
  5. Time Management Fundamentals
  6. Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Essential Training
  7. Illustrator CC 2018 Essential Training
  8. Python 3 Essential Training
  9. CompTIA A+ (220-901) Cert Prep: 5 Networking
  10. Teacher Tech Tips Weekly

These and many, many more are free with your library card! You can access Lynda wherever you use the internet.

One Book, One Community: Hidden Figures Launch Party

Blast off with us at the One Book One Community launch party celebrating Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly at the Main Library at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 24! 2018’s title was first announced at the annual Louisiana Book Festival downtown in October 2017.

There’ll be free food, music, games, prizes, stargazing and even a “Moon Walk” cake walk! Our special guests include Dr. Tamiara Wade, former Learning Expert at the NASA Stennis Space Center; and Alyssa Carson, a 16-year-old aspiring astronaut who attended Space Camp seven times, Space Academy three times, Robotics Academy   once, and is the youngest-ever graduate of the Advanced Space Academy! Learn more about Carson at Partners Forum 35 also will be on hand to welcome the NASA STEM Team!


Lots of other events, programs, movie nights, book talks, crafts and more related to the book and OBOC will be scheduled throughout the community all spring long. All the events are FREE. A schedule and related information, as well as an InfoGuide, is posted at, and it will be updated periodically with additional events.

Here’s a sample of the great things to come:

  • LASM Discovery Dome Presents Magic Tree House: Space Mission & We Are Stars – Discovery Dome presentations run March 5 – 28; For a full schedule, pick up a copy of the Library’s monthly newsletter The Source, or visit the online calendar at
  • Book Talk with Author of The Radium Girls Kate Moore -7 p.m. Saturday, March 24, Main Library at Goodwood
  • Hidden Figures Movie Night on the BIG Screen – 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, Main Library at Goodwood
  • The World Behind Hidden Figures with Dr. Renee Horton -2 p.m. Saturday, April 7, Main Library at Goodwood
  • History of Flight with Jim Slade & Katharine Wright – 2 p.m. Sunday, April 22, Main Library at Goodwood
  • And many more!

For more information about the FREE One Book One Community launch party, call (225) 231-3750. To learn about any of the Library’s other free programs, events or resources, visit us online.

A Walking Tour: Mardi Gras in the Archives

A special guest post by Emily Ward, archivist

Did you know that the Special Collections Department collects and displays a vast array of Mardi Gras costumes, ephemera, and other festive regalia from the Baton Rouge area? Our seasonal displays include photographs from some of the first parades to roll down Baton Rouge streets, throws spanning decades, and ball costumes so elaborate you’ll be in awe. All of these materials shed light on the city’s unique celebration of the Mardi Gras season. Come check out the display on the second floor of the Main Library in the Special Collections Department!

Just outside our doors, you will be greeted by our lady mannequin sporting a maid’s costume worn by Ms. Jane (Francis) Ward in 1959. Ms. Ward served as one of the Queen’s maids for the Krewe of Romany— the oldest women’s Mardi Gras Krewe in Baton Rouge, created to present the debutant daughters of Krewe members. The theme for the ball in 1959 was the “Golden West.” Ms. Ward, along with many of the women involved in Krewe of Romany, remained an active member for many years. The Special Collections Department keeps images ready for anyone interested in viewing some of the other costumes worn by Ms. Ward, as well as those of other revelers. Ask an archivist to view them while you are visiting.

Krewe of Romany “Golden West” theme, 1959

Further into the department you will come to a case containing images from the “Fairy Tales” parade in 1951, organized and hosted by the Young Men’s Business Club (YMBC). Each float was sponsored and designed by local civic organizations that chose a specific fairy tale to represent. This was Baton Rouge’s second annual Mardi Gras parade to be followed by an awards ceremony for best float and a bal masque, both held by YMBC at the Community Club at Victory Park. These images come to us from the Baton Rouge Fire Department Collection. You can find more images on the Baton Rouge Digital Archive.

You might also come across an image of a parade you have never heard of. The Poor Man’s Mardi Gras Parade was created by Piggly Wiggly Supermarket owner, Larry Henderson, in honor of his late friend, Joseph Jay LaPlace, who was murdered in 1990. The purpose of the parade was to provide a means of celebrating for those who didn’t have the large budgets that other krewes had. According to an article in The Advocate from February 7, 1992:

There is no registration fee, and anything will do for an entry. Many entrants decorate pickup trucks. Some people pull little red wagons. A few ride bicycles. Others just walk. One man once rode his bicycle behind other floats, picking up stray beads and throwing them to bystanders. Two revelers dressed as clowns dispensed paper IOU’s for beads, tossing them like confetti.

Nearly 10,000 people lined the route to watch as the parade rolled from the parking lot of the Burbank Drive Piggly Wiggly Supermarket, down GSRI Road to the Drillers Diamond. The parade had an all-star royalty lineup; Smiley Anders served as the parade captain, Price LeBlanc served as king, and Cynthia Nickerson of WBRZ-TV served as queen. Sadly, this parade only rolled for one year.

Poor Man’s Mardi Gras Parade, 1992

Have you seen enough Mardi Gras memories? We didn’t think so. You can always check out the Baton Rouge Digital Archive for more images of the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras celebration. This year, we’ve begun crawling websites related to the celebration of Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge to make sure their history is archived, too. You will find websites created by krewes, social media pages such as Facebook event pages and Krewe profiles, news and commentary, and video posted to YouTube by parade attendees in the collection we’ve started here. So far, we’ve collected material from the Krewe of Orion, the Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana, the Mystic Krewe of Apollo, and more! We add new content every day and would love your help in shaping what is preserved.  To learn more about the East Baton Rouge Web Archives and to submit a URL to be added to the web archive, visit the Baton Rouge Room InfoGuide.